In a recent case in Ontario an Iranian woman who was given a 50% interest in a house by her husband’s family was entitled to keep it following their divorce.


The custom in the Iranian culture is for the groom or his family to give a dowry to the bride. The wife later left the marriage and the husband tried to have the half interest in the house returned to him arguing that there was an implied term that the gift was conditional on the wife remaining in the marriage. The Ontario Court of Appeal held that if such a term was part of the gift it should have been put in writing. Because it was not the court held that the gift was unconditional and the wife kept the 50% interest in the house.


(Abdollahpour v. Banifatemi 2015 ONCA 834)


Deborah Todd Family Law Victoria

Deborah A. Todd